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Arch Bishop Ralph Vendegna S.O.S.M.A.

Saint of the Day

  •   Saint of the Day

    Saint of the Day

    St. Bernardine of Siena

    St. Bernardine of Siena (1380–1444) was born to a noble family in Siena, Italy. As a young man he witnessed the bubonic plague raging mercilessly through the city, and volunteered to care for the sick in the local hospital. At this time he also spent much time praying and fasting to know God's will for his life. He discerned a call to Holy Orders and the religious life, and joined the Franciscans at the age of 22. He lived in solitude for over a decade before being sent to preach in the streets, which he did with incredible skill, so much so that he became the most renowned preacher of his day. He traveled on foot to strife-torn cities, attacking sin and paganism and encouraging all to a life of faith and virtue. Huge crowds numbering in the tens of thousands would come to hear him preach in the public square. His fame and effectiveness as a preacher caused the pope to compare him to St. Paul the Apostle. Bernardine was especially known for his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and for promulgating devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. It was he who devised the IHS symbol over a blazing sun as a monogram and logo for the Holy Name of Jesus (in Greek) to replace the public display of insignias of rival family tribes which disturbed the peace. This symbol of Christ began appearing in churches and on public buildings, even to this day. He also served as the head of his Franciscan community. When he began there were 300 friars; when he died there were over 4,000. St. Bernardine's feast day is May 20th.

     

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